Although Best Buy purchased its British partner out of it’s U.S. mobile phone joint venture for $1.3 billion today, this is a big step in a smaller direction. This deal provides Best Buy with an opportunity to utilize its employees more effectively, allowing each employee to sell more than just phones. Rather than segmenting the jobs to specific areas, associates are now able to help costumers decide upon tablets, notebooks, e-readers, and phones instead of having a costumer deal with 4 different people for 4 separate products.
With strong competition from discount stores and online retailers, Best Buy is being pressured into changing its strategy when it comes to retail. When compared to industry rivals, the company does not maintain a strong product cycle for its flat panel TVs, and the brick and mortar stores do not effectively use space and are costly to maintain.
Best Buy also announced they will be closing 11 of their stores in Britian, however most of the 1,000 staff members will be relocated to other stores.
Fortunately, Best Buy is adapting and looks to be focusing more on customer service. For brick and mortar stores, this is the future. With Amazon.com becoming one the largest suppliers in the electronics market, if a customer was looking strictly for ease of purchase they can go online without leaving his or her home.
I believe the future of retailers like Best Buy lay in a service model catering to costumers and making the store more than just a warehouse of electronics. Best Buy seems to be taking the right steps to be surviving in today’s market, and I look forward to seeing what new ideas they come up with to make the customer’s experience that much better.